sport

Essex denied again by Bears

Warwickshire kept alive their hopes of completing a domestic treble, defeating Essex by 67 runs to reach the last four of the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Rikki Clarke top scored with 68 in an excellent 271-7 for the Bears before then picking up 3-40 with the ball, as the Eagles were bowled out for 204 in 42.4 overs.

Jesse Ryder did make 90 for the hosts, including hitting three sixes and seven fours, yet despite the New Zealander's efforts Essex were never able to recover from a stuttering start to their run chase that saw them slip to 58-4 when Ravi Bopara departed for 20.

They will be sick of the sight of Warwickshire at Chelmsford this season having also lost another quarter-final tie to the same opponents, albeit when they were called Birmingham, in the NatWest T20 Blast.

Fresh off their Finals Day triumph last weekend at Edgbaston that saw them pick up the first of three possible pieces of silverware, the Bears saw their top four all make solid contributions after being sent in to bat by Essex.

The opening duo of Varun Chopra and Will Porterfield put on 62 before both perished in successive Tom Westley overs, Ireland international Porterfield (27) the first to go when he was well caught by a leaping Ryder at midwicket.

Skipper Chopra then fell five runs later, lofting the part-time spinner straight to David Masters at mid-off to depart for 36.

Clarke and Jonathan Trott combined in a third-wicket stand worth 113 and although Reece Topley accounted for the two well-set batsmen, an already competitive-looking total was given a late boost by Ateeq Javid and Peter McKay.

The pair put on 36 from 17 balls with wicketkeeper McKay, filling in for the injured Tim Ambrose behind the stumps, making 22 not out, including launching two late sixes in an expensive final over bowled by Masters.

In contrast to their opponents, Essex never laid the foundations up front as Clarke in particular caused them problems during a fine opening spell that saw him account for Westley and Greg Smith.

Oliver Hannon-Dalby had claimed the first wicket, getting Mark Pettini caught behind, but it was his dismissal of Ryder that was crucial, the left-hander caught by a delighted Chopra 10 runs short of a century. His departure came after a batting powerplay that hadn't gone according to plan for the Eagles.

Tim Phillips was run out three balls later and Hannon-Dalby ended the match in a hurry, getting Graham Napier (21) and Masters caught out from successive deliveries as he ended with 4-44.

James Foster and Ryan ten Doeschate had both made 19 for Essex while Bopara had looked in determined mood before aiming an ambitious drive at Boyd Rankin that resulted in an easy catch to Chopra at slip.